Living in Amman

The New Digs


I’ve been here for almost two weeks and I’m just about finished getting organized (or at least as organized as one can get without having a car and access to supplies at a store). Our home is essentially a blank canvas to decorate, but I’m finding that decorating the place is rife with challenges. For example, I wanted to hang up a bulletin board in my “office.” I’m well versed in hanging up pictures and can even handily use a drill, but the walls here are cement, so my attempts at hanging anything myself are futile and damaging to the wall.

Yesterday some maintenance people came over to remove a door to the kitchen and to hang my pan rack. When I explained to them that I wanted the door removed from the kitchen, you would have thought that I had asked to be set on fire. Imagine a kitchen exposed to guests? Anyway, I wanted the door removed because there isn’t any space for my butcher block that I’ve alway placed below my pan rack. They removed the door , installed the pan rack in the ceiling, and promised to come back sometime next week to build shelves in a very strange and atrocious open cabinet. I plan on covering the TWO open cabinets with fabric that I’ve ordered.

Let me preface these photos by saying that these are very preliminary. I promise it will look much better in a few weeks time. I’m open for suggestions and anyone who comes up with something fabulous for the entrance room gets a PRIZE.

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Living in Amman

Moving to Amman


Since October R and I have been planning our sojourn from the comfort of Northern Virginia, to Amman, Jordan. Moving abroad is something R has discussed since we met and being the super wife that I am, I’ve agreed. Perhaps I’m nervous, unsure, and selfish in my assessment of what life will be like there, but I’ve come up with a gripe list to vent my frustrations:
Top Ten Reasons I’m Annoyed with Moving:

  1. I have to give up my job: I love this job, my students and the administration. Raj owes me BIG time for this one alone!
  2. I cannot find ANY yoga studios in Amman. I practice yoga five days a week. I’m also certified to teach it (and I do teach one yoga class a week at my school), but as a lazy yogi, I prefer to be led through a practice instead of leading myself in one. Herein lies the problem. If I can’t find a studio, I’ll have to commit to a personal practice. Good god!
  3. People–men or women–do not run outside (nor do they walk much). Translation: If I want to maintain my exercise regimen of running twenty miles weekly, I’ll have to run INDOORS on a TREADMILL. Shoot me!
  4. We will be living in an apartment. There’s nothing wrong with apartment living. However,  at my age, I never imagined I’d be living in an apartment with my husband and my dog, in a place that I cannot decorate or even furnish with my own belongings (I’ve been severely limited as to what I can and cannot ship). Additionally, there’s NO DISHWASHER and the appliances are circa 1980.
  5. Furry children are not considered family members. Shanti our miniature Schnauzer is a sweet and adorable dog. He looks like a teddy bear but barks like a beast. No one likes a barking dog–especially in areas of the world where dogs are not considered babies.
  6. My hairdresser will not accompany me to Amman. As a bleach blond, the fear of leaving your hair dresser, whom you visit religiously every four weeks, is paralyzing. Who will be able to highlight my hair as well as my current stylist? Who will understand the intricacies of bleaching my hair in a land where the majority of women do not bleach their hair blond?
  7. I have to find a job. This is not a monetary concern (Raj may disagree), but rather a psychological one. If I have nothing to do (and granted, I have lots of stuff that I’ve mentioned over the years that I complained I never had time to attend to, i.e. writing, reading, cooking…), I will go crazy. I need to occupy my time with some type of work for my own sanity.
  8. My clothing is mostly inappropriate to wear. Although I’ve lived in the DC area for the last three years, I was born and raised in southern California. The laid back, summer styles of sunny California do not translate well in the conservative climate of northern Virginia, but I can only imagine how inappropriate they are in a conservative place. Most, if not all of my summer clothes are sleeveless, tight fitting, neck baring…
  9. I can no longer secretly buy stuff and stash it away before Raj gets home. All of our mail will be delivered to his work address meaning that he will pick up ALL packages, thus requiring me to explain purchases.
  10. Lastly, independence. Moving to a foreign country requires patience, practice, and reliance on someone else. I hate having to be codependent.
There you have it. The top ten reasons that I’m annoyed to move.